CaliberPulse

Caliber Group has launched CaliberPulse.com to help businesses stay abreast of the latest consumer behaviors, opinions and marketing trends to survive and thrive. Our agency excels at building brands and relationships. We’re well versed in the use of both traditional and social media to educate, influence or persuade audiences. To deliver an effective message, we know you have to understand your clients/customers: what they want and what they need.

What can you expect to find on CaliberPulse.com?

  • National, regional and local consumer behavior trends and opinions.
  • Insider marketing, public relations and Web marketing trends and tips.

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Are You Practicing Anti-Social Media?

There is more to having a social media presence than just posting statuses. Having a branded Facebook page may help cultivate an audience or garner high numbers of “likes,” but if you only post one-way marketing or media messages, your audience will eventually lose interest. A page’s number of followers pales in value compared to interaction with them.

Back to Basics: The Art of Storytelling

August has arrived and with it, the familiar “back-to-school” theme. Let this month serve as an opportune time and reminder to sharpen your skills, knowledge, and invest in new resources. Students around the nation are buying new pencils and notebooks, so why not mirror this trend and advocate that your business invest in a new strategic toolkit?

No More .com – Brand Your Own Domain Name

ICANN, the body that coordinates Internet names, has approved one of the biggest changes ever to the Internet’s domain name system. The change will allow companies/brands to own their own name after the dot—rather than using .com or .org. Effective January 12, 2012, companies will be able to create URLs with a branded touch, such as .nike, .mtv, or .newyork.

When It’s Time to Rebrand

During the life cycle of a company, it may be necessary to rebrand or reposition the company one or more times to thrive in a changing marketplace. The most common reasons to rebrand a company include: -Changing market demand -Need to differentiate from the competition -New product/service offerings -Company mergers, acquisitions or reorganizations -Bad reputations (real or perceived) -Unplanned, negative situations (e.g. bankruptcy, losses) -Poor financial performance requiring a new business strategy (Bullets and margins below look weird and do not line up.) The rebranding process allows companies to re-evaluate their core offerings, target audiences, message strategies and service delivery options. Examples of companies that have rebranded include Phillip Morris, which changed its name to Altria in 2003, to shed its negative image associated with tobacco products that could have affected other Philip Morris brands such as Kraft Foods. General Motors, after filing for bankruptcy in 2009, rebranded by selling off or discontinuing some of its brands, including Saab and Hummer, to focus on fewer, stronger brands.

Recent Changes on WordPress: Don’t Mess with My Branding!

When delivering a branded message, the goal is to reinforce the image of your company or client. Using a consistent set of graphics, layout choices, and color palette in messaging reassures the receiver that what they are receiving is genuine and the message can be trusted. The simplest way to reinforce a brand online is to use the company's logo. Using a brand’s logo throughout the company’s social media and website helps to establish an official presence, even if the overall look and feel of the sites are ultimately dictated by the social sites. Using consistent branding via website, Facebook and Twitter pages emphasizes to visitors that what they are experiencing is an authentic message that can be trusted. So, what happens when one of those messaging venues suddenly strips away the look and feel of the brand?

How Do Your Customers Really Feel About You?

It’s relatively common knowledge in the business industry that building on existing customer relationships is more cost effective than trying to attract new customers altogether. But before you start trying to upsell your existing customer base, it might be a good idea to find out how they really feel about your business. Such information could help you come up with a winning strategy that entices them to purchase more of your services. Asking a customer at the counter what they think of your business is like asking your significant other if he or she thinks you’ve gained weight. Some couples have the kind of open and honest relationships that allow them to successfully navigate such a sensitive topic. Other couples might squirm and feel awkward. Or worse yet, the relationship is already lost and someone may take the opportunity to hurt the other.

Let Your Fingers Do the Talking

E-mail is one of the simplest and least expensive methods to market your business. There are no materials or overhead costs like with a paper mailing. You’ll know almost immediately whether the address you’ve sent to is still active (or spelled correctly) and you can ask for a read receipt to indicate whether your target has received the message. Perhaps best of all, you stand a good chance of getting a response since the easiest time to click on “Reply” or link to a Web page is while the target is actually reading the e-mail. Your number one e-mail marketing tool is your signature block. Use e-mail signatures to educate clients/customers and allow for them to refer business to you each time your message gets forwarded.

New media is redefining the way we build brands, reputations: Top 10 trends from the 2010 PRSA International Conference

Even though it is difficult for me to get out of the office for a few days, each year I attend professional conferences to stay on top of the latest consumer trends and new media technologies. This year I attended the Public Relations Society of America’s International Conference Oct.16-19 in Washington D.C. My education started the minute I landed at Reagan National Airport and continued throughout the conference, at the workshops and during the networking sessions, where I interacted with respected peers and educators throughout the world. Here’s a summary of the top ten trends I learned — or confirmed — this year at the PRSA Conference that I hope you will find valuable as you prepare your strategic plans for 2011:

Knock the Dust Off Your Marketing Plan

It’s time to start thinking about your marketing plan for the next year, assuming your fiscal year starts January 1. Around this time of year, assessment and planning starts. What advertising has worked? Should we put more money into interactive advertising? Do we need to revamp our website? While these are all things you should be thinking about, we recommend that you dig deeper.

Good reputations are built on good behavior

Earlier in my career, I met with a business owner who asked me to promote his achievements. His goal was to build awareness and credibility as an expert in his field, among his prospective customers, peers and the media. After telling me about his many good deeds that deserved recognition, I asked him whether he had done any bad things that could harm his reputation and would make it impossible to reach his goal. Naturally, he responded that he had a stellar career and there were no skeletons in his closet. This challenge sounded intriguing, so I went to work and developed a smart public relations strategy to build his reputation. While I was preparing to execute this strategy, I opened the newspaper and discovered one skeleton that my client failed to share with me. To counter the bad news, my client asked me to immediately ramp up his public relations plan and start communicating all of his accomplishments. However, he failed to explain why he was not truthful earlier about his past mistake that made the news.

Protecting Your Online Community and, Thereby, Your Brand

Stephenie Meyer, the author of the best-selling Twilight series and other novels, recently said she is resigning from social media. Regardless if you are a fan of her or the vampire stories she tells, this speaks to a larger issue of people using Internet applications to attack or even disguise their identities – people commonly called trolls – to say what they want. As more companies use social networking to reach their customers or humanize their brand, the growing number of trolls online could intimidate a brand from jumping into to the social media pool. So, how can businesses keep trolls under the bridge where they belong and out of their online communities? It’s not easy, but it can be done.

Brand Your Body (and Other Things)

Part of the “Low-Cost, High-Impact” Smart Marketing Workshop It’s one of those simple things that a lot of businesses overlook: putting their logo on clothing. If the clothing is cool, interesting or free, it’s likely that customers are willing to be your walking billboard. You can go with the typical t-shirt or baseball hat, or think creatively. Pictured is the Bookmans bicycling team. Bookmans paid for the jerseys and shorts and they get cycling billboards found riding all over town and in major events such as the Tour de Tucson.